WPP media agency network Mindshare and digital-first global performance agency Neo Media World are integrating their capabilities to better address challenges faced by marketers.
Both agencies will retain their individual identities, branding, client roster and culture, but the move will result in a number of organizational shifts, including the creation of an integrated delivery unit called Outcomes made up of 5,000 specialists. Outcomes will deliver addressable media for both Mindshare and Neo, as well as leveraging capabilities across GroupM and WPP.
Mindshare global CEO Nick Emery described the move as a refocusing of complementary assets.
“Every client that you’ve talked to for the last 18 months to two years has said … ‘Why can’t you integrate our brand activity better?’ I think everyone knows that they need to do it, but no one is doing it at any kind of scale,” he explained, adding that CMOs are in search of a “low cost, low overhead activation unit” to aid in digital transformation.
“If you look at a lot of the large ad agencies, tech companies, media agencies, they all have bits of expertise in terms of performance or brand marketing,” he added. “But I don’t see anyone putting the two together to put together in an integrated offering at a global scale.”
The move will also transform Neo into a more full-service offering by complementing its performance expertise with more traditional brand marketing capabilities. As part of the integration, Emery said some personnel would move from Mindshare to Neo.
Additionally, Mindshare will launch a media transformation consultancy called Change, designed to help businesses navigate working models, data and technology while delivering data-driven marketing models. Change will be comprised of consulting, data, analytics and technology specialists, and interconnect with GroupM and WPP consultancy offerings. Mindshare’s Tom Johnson will lead Change as chief digital officer for global clients.
Mindshare will also introduce an Acceleration planning approach to connect brands’ media and sales at scale for clients. Acceleration will help clients determine optimal outcomes and connect them to activation delivered by the Outcomes unit.
“Mindshare is not like an agency anymore; we’re a talent network,” Emery said. “What we’re doing is organizing in a way that’s easier for the client leaders … to draw upon the right people to grow that client’s business. You have to build an organization that can move with the flow of that.”
Emery described the move as reading market demand and staying one step ahead.
“Our view is that we should do this. If we don’t know what [clients] want, we’re not doing our job very well. We created a group of like-minded people across the network that helped us develop this offering,” he said. “We know that there’s an appetite for it and that people are buying it and will buy it more.”